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SCO to sue commercial Linux user today

There's a commercial Linux user out there somewhere that is in SCO Group's legal sights -- and today's the day we find out exactly who.

More than two weeks past its self-imposed deadline for filing suit against a commercial Linux user, the SCO Group is expected to finally take someone to court today.

CEO Darl McBride, during a session yesterday at the Software 2004 conference in San Francisco, announced that his company had in fact two targets lined up and would announce one of them today.

You can expect that announcement later this afternoon.
Blake Stowell
SpokespersonSCO Group

"You can expect that announcement later this afternoon," said SCO spokesperson Blake Stowell this morning.

SCO notified 1,500 Linux-using enterprises last year of its intention to litigate against any company using Linux in its infrastructure that failed to purchase a Unix license from SCO. The Linden, Utah-based company filed suit against IBM Corp. last March alleging that Big Blue had improperly donated portions of System V Unix to the Linux kernel.

This week, a Utah judge accepted an amendment to SCO's suit, adding adding copyright infringement charges and dropping charges of misappropriated trade secrets. SCO wants $1 billion in damages claiming unfair competition, and $1 billion for each of four allegations of breaching various contracts, bringing the total to $5 billion.

Yesterday, SCO also made public the name of its largest licensee to date, EV1 Servers, a division of EV1.Net, a Houston-based Internet service provider and Web host.

EV1 Servers reportedly purchased licenses for its 20,000 Linux servers for less than the $699 per server SCO was asking, Stowell said.

Stowell added that EV1 responded to a letter from SCO notifying the firm that it may be in violation of SCO's intellectual property rights. The deal was finalized last week, Stowell said.

"This is probably the biggest licensing deal we've done to this point," Stowell said. "The president of the company Robert Marsh said there has been a certain level of market uncertainty with regard to Linux. He made the business decision to take out a license so that his customers would be covered."

EV1 was not a target for litigation, Stowell said. Stowell would not provide any hints as to the company being targeted, but said it would be a recognizable name.

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